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Thread: Sicily: 2,500 Year Old Skull Discovered in Cave

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    Sicily: 2,500 Year Old Skull Discovered in Cave

    PALERMO, SICILY—According to a Live Science report, archaeologists led by Roberto Miccichè of the University of Palermo were investigating an artificial cave in northern Sicily where more than 50 people were buried some 2,500 years ago, when they found a lone skull that had been placed above the tomb’s main entrance, facing into the cave. The burials were looted at some point, but the researchers think the robbers used a different entrance to the cave and left the skull in its original position. As the researchers explain in a paper in the International Journal of Paleopathology, examination of the skull revealed it had belonged to a woman who died between the ages of 35 and 50. Her cause of death was cancer that the researchers suspect originated in her breasts and then spread to her skull, leaving 14 holes in it. Miccichè suggested that the distinctive markings on her bones may have led to the unusual placement of her skull. The woman’s role in the community during her life may also have been a factor, he added. To read about an unusual burial recently discovered in northern Italy, go to “Late Antique TLC.”

    https://www.archaeology.org/news/678...rtificial-cave
    https://www.livescience.com/63046-an...ley-skull.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    PALERMO, SICILY—According to a Live Science report, archaeologists led by Roberto Miccichè of the University of Palermo were investigating an artificial cave in northern Sicily where more than 50 people were buried some 2,500 years ago, when they found a lone skull that had been placed above the tomb’s main entrance, facing into the cave. The burials were looted at some point, but the researchers think the robbers used a different entrance to the cave and left the skull in its original position. As the researchers explain in a paper in the International Journal of Paleopathology, examination of the skull revealed it had belonged to a woman who died between the ages of 35 and 50. Her cause of death was cancer that the researchers suspect originated in her breasts and then spread to her skull, leaving 14 holes in it. Miccichè suggested that the distinctive markings on her bones may have led to the unusual placement of her skull. The woman’s role in the community during her life may also have been a factor, he added. To read about an unusual burial recently discovered in northern Italy, go to “Late Antique TLC.”

    https://www.archaeology.org/news/678...rtificial-cave
    https://www.livescience.com/63046-an...ley-skull.html
    Too bad there's no context as to social class etc.


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    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Too bad there's no context as to social class etc.
    Indeed, it would have been very salient to the discovery, and interpreting the history behind the occupants of the tomb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Indeed, it would have been very salient to the discovery, and interpreting the history behind the occupants of the tomb.
    Yes, by the time you get to the Classical Era, there could be a big difference in terms of genetics between a slave and a merchant or landowner.

    This came to my mind because last night I got tired of watching crime procedurals and watched an episode of Spartacus. I never watched that series.

    There was so much killing not only in the arena, but on the battlefield during the rebellion. Without identifying artifacts there's no way to know the identity of any remains you might find.

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    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Yes, by the time you get to the Classical Era, there could be a big difference in terms of genetics between a slave and a merchant or landowner.

    This came to my mind because last night I got tired of watching crime procedurals and watched an episode of Spartacus. I never watched that series.

    There was so much killing not only in the arena, but on the battlefield during the rebellion. Without identifying artifacts there's no way to know the identity of any remains you might find.
    Absolutely, grave goods would have been key to understanding the social class of the occupants. Otherwise, there's no way to know if it could have been an individual that does not represent the area genetically. Goes to show how archaeology and genetics are indelibly symbiotic.

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